A dead wild boar in Sweden has tested positive for African swine fever, Sweden’s Veterinary Medical Institute said on Wednesday, the first such case in the country.
African swine fever is harmless to humans but is highly contagious and fatal in domestic and wild boar. It has spread from Africa to Europe and Asia and has already killed hundreds of millions of pigs, affecting global meat markets.
Seven dead boars were found in Fagersta, about 200 kilometers northwest of Stockholm, and more tests are being carried out, the Veterinary Institute said in a statement.
“At the moment we do not know how the infection got in, but it is a long jump from the nearest infected area in Europe and we therefore assume that it has happened through humans and not wild boar,” it said.
Although the virus does not affect humans or other animals, it can be spread through pork or by carrying it on shoes, tools or vehicles.
An outbreak of African swine fever has forced pig farmers in Serbia, Bosnia and Croatia to slaughter thousands of pigs since June, putting pressure on governments to compensate farmers for their losses.